Senaru is a village in North Lombok. Senaru is normally thought of as the key gateway village to an arduous trek up Mount Rinjani. There is a lot more to this area than that though, and those visitors less inclined towards serious trekking should not be discouraged from visiting here.
There are some cute little places to stay, and glorious scenery all around, including some notable waterfalls.
The village of Batu Koq about 1 km to the north, almost merges as one with Senaru these days.
The area around Senaru (and the wider Bayan district) was the birthplace of Lombok's unique Wektu Telu belief system - ancient animist practices combined with Islam.
From the main north coast road, turn south at the small town of Bayan from where it is about 8 km to Senaru village.
If you are coming from the main tourist areas in West Lombok, expect to pay about Rp 300,000-400,000 for a taxi or chartered vehicle.
It is possible, if a little difficult, to get to Senaru by bus from Mataram. From the main Mataram bus terminal take a bus headed towards Anyar. These are infrequent, there is no reliable timetable and the journey is 2½-3 hours. From Anyar, regular bemos run to Senaru until about 16:00 every daily.
Once you are in Senaru, just walk - it is stunning here.
Guides for waterfall trips
Payment fees to guide visitors to the first waterfalls are frequently demanded by local touts and guides. At times these activities can be quite aggressive and demanding. This behaviour is not sanctioned by the regional tourism authorities and a guide is not formally required to visit the waterfall sites. The majority of these informal guides have little if anything to contribute to the visit other than to demand a payment. If they bother you excessively ask to see their Izin (permit). Very few if any of the pestering touts will have one, when they are unable to produce this just wave them away.
Access to the primary waterfall of Air Terjun Sendang Gila is by way of an established pathway and steps and requires no special skills or knowledge as this pathway leads directly and quite unambiguously to the primary waterfall destination. The fixed price entrance fee is posted at the ticket booth at the top of the steps leading down to the waterfall site.
If unsuccessful in gaining direct payment from a visitor the local touts and informal guides often demand a payment from the driver or guide who brought the visitor to the site. The extraction of this payment may be done in a manner that is not immediately apparent to the visitor. Some of the accompanying guides and drivers who escort visitors to the Senaru area may explain this to the visitor, others may not.
A reputable and suitably experienced guide is recommended to walk to the second waterfall. The use of a local guide is not required as most of the established and reputable Lombok tourism guides who take visitors to Senaru know this area well. It is essential to have a guide for Air Terjun Tiu Kelep as this third and more distant waterfall has a requirement for suitable climbing skills and equipment.
If a serious disputation develops with the local self proclaimed guides at Senaru then explain to them that you will leave the site and travel to an alternative location.
Aside from Mount Rinjani itself, the key attractions around here are the two well known waterfalls (air terjun). Guides abound in Senaru, and you might find it difficult walking anywhere without one. The best strategy is often to find a guide you like, agree a nominal price (under Rp 50,000) and have he or she (very unusually for Lombok, women guides are available here) accompany you. If nothing else, this will keep the others from hassling you.
- Air Terjun Sindang Gila (En. Slightly Crazy Waterfalls). The best known and most spectacular of the three. The water cascades everywhere here breaking some 50 m above the main arrival point. From Senaru village walk about 20 minutes to the southeast. The path is pleasant and leads through some splendid tropical forest.
- Air Terjun Tiu Kelep. Less spectacular but still very much worth it. Continue on uphill from Sindang Gila for about 40-60 minutes (depending on your fitness - this will involve a steep uphill climb and a creek crossing and several other obstacles). Tiu Kelep has a nice bathing pool below the falls with very cool invigorating water.
Next to the office of the national park is the traditional village of Senaru. You will see traditional houses and can watch the daily life of local people.
Market in AncakEdit
Every Thursday morning is the local market in Ancak, what's about 10 minutes from Senaru by car or motorbike. Many people of the surrounding villages come there to buy vegetable, meat and fish, clothes, shoes, and everything they need for their daily life.
Climbing Mount Rinjani is not to be taken lightly and full details are given that article.
There are many other less demanding treks in the area, for example a panorama walk, or a day trip Senaru—Bayan. Senaru is a great base for these local treks.
All of the local bungalows and homestays have simple cafes attached.
There are a few simple warungs on the road between Senaru and Batu Koq villages. The local Sasak food is excellent — try to stick with the authentic local cooking as the dull, generic western traveller dishes may disappoint.
- Horizon Senaru Villa & Restaurant, Senaru Village, ☏ . Simple and compact, private 2-bedroom bungalow overlooking Mt Rinjani and the valley below. Generous sized rooms. The master bedroom has a living room with beautiful views. Rent either a room or the whole bungalow. Bathrooms have traditional showers. From Rp 300,000.
- Pondok Gunung Baru (5 min further on from Emi's Cafe, on the right hand side), ☏ . This hotel/restaurant has views and basic clean and comfortable accommodations. Rp 70,000-100,000.
- Pondok Indah, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 09:00, check-out: 07:00-11:00. 10 clean rooms at this simple hotel. All rooms have private bathrooms and western toilets. From Rp 125,000-150,000.
- Pondok Senaru. Rooms here are quite grand by Rinjani standards (they have hot water, for example). From Rp 300,000.
- Rinjani Mountain Garden, Teres Genit village, ☏ . A German-owned and -run establishment that offers camping in delightful gardens with a swimming pool and hot showers. All equipment is provided.
- Mount Rinjani Go climb an active Volcano.
- Tanjung Luxurious villas to rent, a golf course, boating marina and facilities, Lombok's premier resort the 5-star Oberoi Resort and Tugu, one of Lombok's more eclectic resort newcomers.
- Bangsal just to get to the Gilis.
- Gili Islands - an archipelago of three small islands off Lombok's northwestern coast with each island full of resorts
- Senggigi Hotels large and small to suit all budgets, stylish boutique resorts, car and motorbike rentals. forest trekking. restaurants and nightlife.
- Mataram Shopping, restaurants, museum, Namarda Water Park and on toward the central south of the island for the airport to leave Lombok for Java, Bali, Sumbawa, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
- Kuta Surfing, Tangung Aan and explore the coastline of the south.